Timing the Factor Zoo
53 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2023
Date Written: March 24, 2023
We provide a comprehensive analysis of the timing success for equity risk factors. Our analysis covers over 300 risk factors (factor zoo) and a high dimensional set of predictors. The performance of almost all groups of factors can be improved through timing, with improvements being highest for profitability and value factors. Past factor returns and volatility stand out as the most successful individual predictors of factor returns. However, both are dominated by aggregating many predictors using partial least squares. The median improvement of a timed vs. untimed factor is about 2% p.a. A timed multifactor portfolio leads to a 20% increase in return relative to its untimed counterpart.
Keywords: Time-varying risk premia, factor investing, partial least squares
JEL Classification: G10, G12, G14
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